The population of the city of Lankaran is 48,400. The population of the district was 196,156 by January 2004. Among them 58,937 people live in the cities, 20,284 in the settlements and 116,935 in the villages. The density of population 127.5 person per 1 km2 is 40% more than republic level. The ratio of woman to men per 100 citizens is 49/51. The number of population increases by the natural growth. During the last years the number of population has increased by 9.8 thousand person or 5.3%. The region is well endowed by labor resources. The number of working people is 82,339. It is 73.3% of the economical active parts of population. 3.2% of working people are busy in branches of industries and constructions, 73.8% in agriculture, 23% in different fields of production and services. Except the local people 519 refugees and displaced people. Half of the population of Lankaran is comprised of ethnic Talish.
Lanakran is one of the oldest settlements in Azerbaijan. Facts confirmed by archeologist state that the area was inhabitant from the Bronze Age. Because of the linkages between the East and the West such as the silk route, Lankaran continued to grow as a major stopover point for caravan routes. In 1742 the Talish Khanate moved its capital to Lankaran. From antiquity, people throughout Lankaran have been involved in animal husbandry, horticulture, aquaculture, and sericulture. Trades such as blacksmithing, coppersmithing, pottery, and weaving are key cultural traditions throughout Lankaran. Blacksmith, copper-smith, pottery and other trades were widely spread in Lankaran. Since the Khanate established its capitol in Lankaran, there was a great surge in trade relations between Iran, Turkey, Russia, China, India, Pakistan, and Central Asia. With the signing of the "Gulustan Treaty" in 1829 between Russia and Persia, Northern Azerbaijan was occupied by Russia. With the Russian occupation, people took the lead in the development of several new industries in Lankaran such as viniculture, ceramics, and brick making, and aided in creating trade ties between Lankaran and Russia. Through this exchange, Lankran strengthened its cultural roots, and its scientific, educational, heath, and industrial base.
Lankaran is in a very beautiful part of Azerbaijan. It lies in the South-East of the country. Lankaran one of the five natural geographical regions of Azerbaijan. The territory of Lankaran region borders on the Kur-Araz lowland in the North and the Caspian Sea in the South-East. It is surrounded by Astara, Masalli and Lerik rayons. According to the relief the territory consists mainly of plains and partly mountainous and it becomes narrow to the South. The highest point in Lankaran is 200 meters in the foothills and the lowest point in Lankaran is 28 meters below sea level by the Caspian coast. The distance between Lankaran and Baku is 268 km.
Winter - The winters are cool, but there is not very much precipitation from December to March
Spring - The spring in Lankaran is beautiful allowing people to take a long neglected walk along the seaside
Summer - The summer in Lankaran is hot, but it is quite beautiful during the morning and the evening
Fall - The fall stay quite warm during the day, but at night it gets a bit cool
January 2007 Transportation Update
Due to the large price increase in gasoline, the transportation fares have also increased. Expect to pay more than the prices posted here.
Until the airport begins operating again, the fastest between Baku and Lankaran is by taxi - it takes about 3.5 hours. Going via Lada from Baku to Lankaran costs 6-7AZN per seat (4 people) and going via by Mercedes costs 8AZN per seat. The “Lavangi” Avtovagzal (Auto Station) services the transport to/from Baku for taxis, buses, and marshrutka. The Lankaran Avtovagzal # is 0171-45928.
Lavangi Bus Station
The train station is located in the city center. There is an electric and night train service that runs between Baku and Lankaran. The electric train ticket cost around 2.5 AZN and leaves Baku at 8:00AM and returns to Baku at 5:00PM. The night train costs between 3.20-5.40AZN and leaves Baku at 11:30PM and returns at 9:00PM.
By bus or marshrutka
Busses and marshrutkas depart from Baku's 20th January terminal every other hour starting at 8. Buses are a comfortable option, but take longer than taxis or marshrutkas. The trip from Baku to Lankaran will take about 5 hours via bus and it costs 3.2 AZN. Buses leave about every hour from the “Lavangi” Avtovaqzal outside of the city center. The marshrutkas or minibuses usually departs every hour starting at 8. It takes 3.5-4 hours to get to Lankaran from Baku. The price is 4AZN and it departs from the “Lavangi” Avtovaqzal outside of the city center.
Taxis are quite convenient if you know where you want to go within the city. Addresses are quite useless, so it would be better to get a landmark that you know of and direct the taxi driver there. It costs 40-60 qapick per ride in a taxi.
Intra-City Bus Routes
All Intra-City buses depart and return from the Big Bazaar in Lankaran city.
1 Dairavi Circle Route A: Big Bazaar, Tofig Ismayilov Street, Azriba district, Diagnostic Center, Lavangi Bus Station, Shahidlar Khiyabani Sh/Kh, Small Bazaar Mosque, Big Bazaar
2 Dairavi Circle Route B: Big Bazaar, Small Bazaar Mosque, Shahidlar Khiyabani Sh/Kh, Lavangi Bus Station, Tofig Ismayilov Street, Big Bazaar
3 and 4 Digah-Shilavar Route: Big Bazaar, School #5, Shilavar, Digah, Hanifa Abdullayev Street (Turkish Lyceum), Sattarkhan Street, Koroglu Street (near the Gala Hotel), Big Bazaar.
5 Lankaran-Microrayon Route A: Big Bazaar, H. Aslanov Street (near the Gala Hotel, in front of the Department Store), Heydar Aliyev Street, Shahidlar Khiyabani Sh/Kh, Tofig Ismayilov, Ali Mammadov Street, 2nd Microrayon Wedding Palace (Shadliq Evi), Z. Aliyeva Street, Heydar Aliyev Street, Mir Mustafakhan Street, Big Bazaar
6 Lankaran-Microrayon Route B: Big Bazaar, H. Aslanov Street, Heydar Aliyev Street, Z. Aliyeva, Ali Mammadov Street, 2nd Microrayon Wedding Palace (Shadliq Evi), Hanifa Abdullayev Street, Heydar Aliyev Street, Shahidlar Khiyabani Sh/Kh Circle, Heydar Aliyev Street, Mir Mustafakhan Street, Big Bazaar
In spite of the different tourist venues in Lankaran, English is not widely spoken so it would be wise to either bring an Azeri phrase book or brush up on you Russian/Azeri/Turkish before arriving. Talish is also widely spoken in Lankaran.
The accent of Lankaran different than standard Azeri. Oftentimes Farsi and Talish words are interspersed in residents’ vernacular.
There are a few historical museums in Lankaran that are both culturally informative as well as historically significant.
There is a memorial house-museum for major-general Hazi Aslanov in the Lenkaran region that was constructed in 1969. There is also a monument constructed in the city center for General Aslanov in 1983.
There is a historical-local lore museum containing memorabilia of Mir Akhmed of Talysh Khan in his former apartment house built in 1913.
Historical Places of Note
Old Prison and Lighthouse
There is a very famous and historical in Lankaran where Joseph Stalin was kept for a period of time. The then President of Azerbaijan helped Stalin escape through a secret underground tunnel to the famous Mayak Lighthouse (a central figure and source of pride within Lankaran) and then onto the Caspian Sea.
Tomb of Seyid Khalifa
The 19th century tomb of Seyid Khalifa is located in the village of Jil. Here exist tomb stones the height of which reaches 1m 40cm. The tomb stones are contrasted by engravings and a footprint. In the tomb can be seen the samples belonging to Islam and fire-worshipers. The tomb of Seyid Khalifa is guarded by state as a historical cultural monument.
House of Isa Khan
This was constructed in the early 20th century and the structure has notable architecture.
Public Baths (Hamamlar)
The Khaji Mirze and the Khaji Gurban baths (hamamlar) are located near the small bazaar. A European styled public bath is located in Lankaran.
There are two major mosques within the city of Lankaran. One by the small bazaar and one by the large bazaar.
Located in the Sutamurdov settlement outside of Lankaran, there is an old mosque that was constructed in the 19th century by the name “Khajy Novruzali”.
Located in the Shikhakeren settlement there is a mosque constructed in the 19th centry.
Located in the Jil settlement, there is a mosque constructed in 1906.
There are some Russian Orthodox churches scattered throughout the region of Lankaran.
There is a Drama Theater in the city center. There are scheduled plays or other events that take place in the theater.
A Large Isti Su Bath
Heydar Aliyev Park
East of Lankaran city is an hot springs (istisu) sanatorium that is situated in a natural area with oak and iron-wood trees and a small stream.
This lake is located southeast of the city of Lankaran. It is a wooded reservoir in the lower foothills which is wonderful for a picnic lunch and a relaxing nature hike.
Aurora Tea Factory
Near Xanbulan Lake, tourist can go to one of Lankaran’s famous tea factories and sample the widely known tea in a rose garden of the Aurora Tea Factory. At this factory, people can also tour and see the tea-making process. Call 994 0171 570-72 for an appointment.
East of the city of Lankaran near a small hill by the Ballabur village is a place claimed to be the site of the ancient Bazz Castle. It was here, where the Khuramid chief, Babek, defended the castle against the Arab invasion. After the execution of Babek at the hands of the Arabs, the occupiers demolished the castle, but remnants of the castle can still be seen.
Hirkan National Park
The area of this national park is 15000 hectares. It has 150 kind of trees and bushes in the park area and 36 of them are endemic. The fauna in the national park is not so rich but one can meet interesting rare species there. We can meet boar, wild boar, spot antler, jackal, Asian leopard in the park. As for birds, woodpecker, Hirkan tits, stone sparrows can be noted. Hirkan tits are endemic here. The woods in the territory of the park are two and three stories tall. There are mainly chestnut leaf oak, iron-wood, the Caucasus persimmon, false nut, Lankaran acacia in the lower part of the park. The iron-wood tree (demir agaj) is unique in its density that it sinks in water. It is almost indestructible by pest and is only native to a narrowly restricted area in the Talish hills around Lankaran.
Gizil Agaj State National Reserve
The area of the State Reservation is 88,360 hectares. As a result of scientific research in this State Reservation 23 sorts of mammals, about 270 sorts of birds, 12 sorts of reptiles and 47 sorts of fish have been observed. Every year a lot of birds come to Gizilagaj State Reservation to make nest from the East countries such as yellow and wild heron swans, flamingo, wild ducks beside it flamingo, river ducks, swans are inhabited in this State Reservation. Fishes such as sazan, herring, seal, omul, grey mullet, pike, salmon and mammals such as swine, hare, jackal, fox, badger, beaver wild boar, and water squirrel can be found in this reserve.
This area contains a water spring that burns constantly as if it were a gas lit flame. This is located just outside of Lankaran on the highway to Astara towards the beautiful range of mountains to the west (just before the Electric Station).
South of town, the beaches are cleaner and isolated. There is beach access by the Kanarmesha area where there are some restaurants.
There is a football stadium outside the city center where professional football is played. The team owner is a wealthy Lankaran native.
Heydar Aliyev Park
At the city center is a sprawling park where the people congregrate. It's a great place to people-watch and here you can also see a museum, monuments, and water fountains with accompanying lights/music. Plans are ongoing to expand the park all the way to the sea.
Zirva Physical Fitness Center 80, Nizami Street
This is a new heath center located a 10 minute walk from the town center. This center has a massage room, sauna, steam bath, weight lifting area, mini soccer, boxing, martial arts, swimming, barber shop, and entertainment area. Call 0171-4-53-53 for an appointment.
Arrive in the evening, check in to a hotel
Go to a local restaurant and try the Lavangi chicken with plov (rice)
Drink Lankaran tea at nearby chay hana (teahouse) and chat/play dominoes with locals
Buy freshly-baked tendir bread for breakfast and eat with butter and honey/cheese
Walk through the bazaar and look at the various local handicrafts
Buy a picnic lunch for trip to Istisu (make sure to also bring a towel)
Take the bus to Istisu from big bazaar and get off at the Sanitorium (last stop; .20 AZN)
Hike up the Talish hills behind the Sanitorium and have a picnic at the top
Go down to Sanitorium and take a dip in hot spring spa (ask for large private room; 1 AZN/person)
Return to town by taxi for 2 AZN.
Eat dinner at a local restaurant and try the various BBQ (kabab) meat dishes
Walk around the city to see the places of interest
Try some gutab (flat pancake) for a snack
Take a refreshing walk on the beach by the Caspian Sea
Depart for your next destination
A Week Itinerary
Premium Lankaran Tea
Stroll through the interconnected outdoor and indoor bazaar for a shopping extravaganza of anything and everything. Exploring and discovering is half the fun!
Zanbil is a weaved basket that comes in different sizes. Large baskets are used in bazar shopping. Small baskets can be sometimes used as purses.
Talish Knitted Socks (Tohuma Jorab)
Talish women traditionally wear colorful clothes (red is a favorite) and Jorab knitted socks are worn in the cold season. Prices range from 1-6 AZN depending on length of the socks.
Lankaran Tea (Chay)
Lankaran is well-known throughout Azerbaijan for producing the best tea in the country. Lankaran Tea is a very popular gift purchase by visitors from Baku and other regions. Tea is sold in 100g and 0.5kg bags and prices range from 8-16 AZN per kilo.
Kalosh is a rubber boot that is used by the Talish people in the rainy season.
Tendir Oven and Talish Women
When going to restaurants or households in Lankaran, you will probably be offered this dish. This dish is cooked with a special nut and onion stuffing inside. You can also get Fish (Balig) Lavangi.
The tendir is a traditional clay oven where this special bread is made. Hot tendir bread with cheese and butter is a real treat. Lavangi chicken is also traditionally cooked in a tendir.
In Lankaran, there are many different types of rice dishes by the name of plov. These include dill plov, potato plov, pea plov, and fish plov.
Gutab is a crunchy, fried dough with fillings inside. Try it with potato (kartov) or stomach meat (qarin) fillings and make sure to sprinkle lots of sumac spice with its astringent-acidic flavour.
Lankaran has a great deal of subtropical foods such as feyhoa, quince, cumquat, pomegranate, lemon, mandarin oranges, and tea. If you have a chance, make sure to try some of these regional foods.
This is the best restaurant in Lankaran with great dishes such as Balig (Fish) Lavangi and Entrikot (Lamb Chops). Make sure to ask for prices before ordering to avoid being overcharged.
This restaurant is located south of the Heydar Aliyev Park just by the iron-bridge and the Lankaran river.
This is a newly-built restaurant that is shaped like a ship. It is in the outskirts of town by the sea and the Olympic Complex. Enjoy the view of the sea while you eat here.
This restaurant is next to the library and is very popular with the locals. There is no signage, so just ask the locals.
A Cultural Note
In general it is forbidden for females to enter tea houses and drinking establishments. Drinking in general is also taboo for women in the regions.
Çay Xana often serve local piva (beer)- draft at 50 qapick /glass or bottles at 70 qapick / bottle or araq (vodka) at 2 AZN per bottle. These can be found in almost any area throughout Azerbaijan. Lankaran has its own brew of beer on tap, so it may be interesting to try something different. If you desire anything exotic (e.g. Tiquella, Gin, Rum), you have to go to a modern hotel or restaurant.
Tea Houses/ Çay Xanalar
This is a nice play for males to drink tea, play dominoes, and catch up on the local gossip or talk about the best things to see in the area. This may be a great experience if you have language ability in Turkish, Russian, or Azerbaijani. Please look at the above mentioned cultural note under the “bars” subheading.
Cafes in Lankaran are really small restaurants. If you are looking for coffee, go to the Gala hotel in town.
Gala Hotel (40 AZN-120 AZN)/night
• Phone (0171)-502-84 Fax (0171)-502-84. Mobile (050)-200-6061 E-Mail:Admin@abqala.com
•The Gala Hotel is considered a 4-star hotel and offers western-standard accommodations. It has conference, business center, laundry service, restaurant, and bar facilities. A swimming pool is currently under construction. There are 56 rooms (single 40 AZN, double 50 AZN, twin 70 AZN, and lux 120 AZN) plus city tax of 1.10 AZN in this four story building.
Dalga Hotel (24 AZN-50 AZN)/night
• Phone (050)-524-5059/ (050)-340-9203
• The Dalga Hotel is the least expensive hotel in Lankaran. There is satellite television located in the rooms and there is a restaurant in this hotel. There are 5 rooms in this hotel (economy 24 AZN, normal 36 AZN, deluxe 50 AZN).
Gizil Tac (Gizil Tajh) (30 AZN-50 AZN)/night
• Land Line (0171)-516-64 Mobile: 050-671-1141
• This is a 8 room hotel with satellite televisions in every room. With the less expensive rooms you must share toilets, but with the deluxe rooms there is a bathroom in the room. There is a café in this hotel but there is no menu so the tourist should order the entrée de-jour.
Lankaran Olympic Sports Complex ($45)/night
• This complex is located south of the city center. It has hotel, sports, and conference facilities.
Bed and Breakfasts
Internet cafes are available around the city center and are called "internet clubs". There is a good internet cafe located near the Post Office. Cost is typically .40 AZN per hour.
Azerbaijan Post Office is located by the Heydar Aliyev Park. A typical international letter/stamp combination costs .80 AZN.
Emergency Contact Numbers
City hospital: 0171-479-32
The city hospital is located north of the city center.
You must speak in Azeri, Russian, or Turkish to communicate your needs. It would be a good idea to memorize key phrases before coming to Azerbaijan - see the Talk section for phrasebooks.
Pack a flashlight (especially in fall-spring) as the streets are not always well lit and power cuts are common.
By taxi or marshrutka
The “Lavangi” Avtovagzal (Auto Station) services the transport to/from Lankaran for taxis, buses, and marshrutka. The Lankaran Avtovagzal # is 0171-45928.
The train station is located in the city center. There is an electric and night train service that runs between Baku and Lankaran. The electric train ticket cost around 2.5 AZN and leaves Lankaran at 5:00PM and arrives in Baku at 11:00PM. The night train costs between 3.20-5.40AZN and leaves Lankaran at 9:00PM and arrives in Baku at 6:30AM.
Intercity Buses/Departure Times
Intercity buses leave from the “Lavangi” Avtovaqzal north of the city center.
All village buses depart and return from the Big Bazaar in Lankaran city. Buses in the direction of Masalli pass through the Lavangi Bus Station. Bus fare will range from .10-.60 AZN depending on distance.
Villages in the direction of Astara
17 Lankaran-Ashagi Nuvadi
23 Lankaran-Bala Shuruk
28 Lankaran-Vel Siyavar
33 Lankaran-Siyavar Vel
Villages in the direction of Lerik
42 Lankaran-Isti su
47 Lankaran-20 km
Villages in the direction of Masalli
55 Lankaran-Jil Kharkhatan
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